Ben Chilwell explained he didn’t fully understand his position when Thomas Tuchel initially became Chelsea manager.
Speaking to Soccer Am, Chilwell discussed his brief period out of the side during Tuchel’s early days in charge of Chelsea.
Having begun the first match of the post Frank Lampard era at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers, the England international was replaced by Marcos Alonso.
This certainly came as a surprise. Chilwell had been one of the more consistent figures for Lampard up to that point.
The 24-year-old had managed four assists and two Premier League goals before he was replaced.
It was even more startling because of Alonso’s reclusive role in the squad.
Chilwell confused at first
“Where he (Tuchel) went from a back four to a back three, it probably suited Marcos a lot more,” explained Chilwell on Tuchel’s decision to drop him.
“I’ve not really played in a back five before. I played the first game against Wolves.
“I didn’t have my best game. I wasn’t really 100% on positioning and where I should be.
“When I came out of the team, I took it as an opportunity to learn in training.
“Learn off Marcos, what he’s doing when he’s plays. Ask the manager questions what he thinks I can improve to play.
Solutions not problems
Alonso and Chilwell have rotated pretty frequently following that initial fixture. However, the latter now looks far more comfortable as a wing-back.
Tuchel is yet to waver from his 3-4-3 formation, so players have quickly been forced to adapt into their new system.
This has certainly benefitted some- Alonso, Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger- and not so much others- Tammy Abraham or Olivier Giroud.
But if Chelsea continue in their rich form, then there can’t be too many complaints coming from the Blues camp.
They are two victories away from claiming FA Cup and Champions League glory, whilst inching ever closer to sealing a top four spot.
And all of this achieved in less than four months.